Psychology Questions

QTaken Trazodone, Xanax, and over the counter sleep aids. What will work for me?

I have a pretty colorful medical history as a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patient, which involves depression, anxiety, and fibromyalgia, a combination that induces some serious insomnia. By serious insomnia, I mean sleep anxiety: major panic attacks, racing stressful thoughts, worrying about my health, distracted by joint pain, and getting myself so worked up about the stress of trying to get my much-needed sleep that it's even harder for me to relax and get to bed. I use Cymbalta, Seasonique, and blood thinners for my other health issues, which seem under control. But as for sleep, I've been on various sleep aiding medications for years trying to find the right fit, some of which I cant even remember. At first I tried more organic approaches like Melatonin, Chamomile tea, meditation, the usual. It had absolutely no effect on me. Then, the doctors gave me Trazodone as an anti-depressant and sleep aid all in one. It worked really well for a pretty long time, but after a while it just lost its effects altogether, and I didn't feel that upping the dosage would help. My doctors then suggested that maybe my insomnia may be better treated by treating its individual causes: anxiety and pain. For this, I was then prescribed Xanax once nightly as a sleep aid for the night time anxiety, as well as regular over-the-counter Ibuprofen PMs nightly for pain relief. This was amazing; it basically eliminated all the tension, running thoughts, and anxiety that used to keep me up until dawn. It also helped take my mind off the physical pain while the Ibuprofen was able to tone it down. It was just a great new feeling of finally not stressing about sleep. Sleep was no longer a dreaded chore, but a time to wind down, relax, and finally feel confident in my ability to sleep soundly. It was my wonder drug, and it changed my life. But, unfortunately, it seems I've started developing a tolerance to the Xanax. I've been taking it for a very long time, a year perhaps, and during that time I've gone from .5mg a night to 2-3mg, depending on how stressed or anxious I'm feeling at the time, and at this point I am unsure if this is healthy anymore. I just keep needing more and more mg's to achieve that mindset of relaxation that I need just to fall asleep. I feel like this dosage increase could escalate into some dangerous addictive territory, and I've read a lot about the consequences of benzo addiction and withdrawal. Is my dosage at a point of addiction or abuse or am I just paranoid? Is it time to find a new sleep aid for me? Preferably something like I had before; something that will just calm me down and help me get over this night time stress that keeps me up and will make me drowsy enough to sleep through it. Any ideas on more more anxiety-oriented sleep aids that aren't so addictive or tolerance building? I've never tired downright sleeping pills like Ambien or Lunesta, just drowse-inducing anti depressants and anti anxieties, but perhaps I should give the more general ones a try? Or would you say my current situation is still healthy? At this point, with school full fledged, I'm desperate. I NEED to sleep, and I NEED to be alert in the morning. My sleep is more important now than ever. I will be speaking with my doctor about this very soon, but I still wanted to ask for some fresh opinions on how I should approach this issue.

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#1INEEDSCIENCEHELPVERYBADLYAnswered at 2014-03-24 00:59:27
Try camomile tea. It's a muscle/nerve relaxant, calms anxiety/the nervous system, decreases stress hormones, and makes you sleepy. I like the camomile/spearmint blend best, but I drink both the regular and variations. It's great for me when I just can't calm down, when i'm getting random sharp pains or aches, and it's a better sleep aid than any over the counter one i've tried which seem to take ages to kick in, then make me feel groggy in the morning. There's no guideline on how much to drink since it varies from person to person, generally I just drink it til I feel peaceful and chilled out, or i'm yawning so i can go to sleep.
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Taken Trazodone, Xanax, and over the counter sleep aids. What will work for me?

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